We Are The Ocean's Dan Brown and Alfie Scully took time out before a recent Manchester show to talk about their new album, Go Now And Live, their current UK tour and festivals. Thanks to Dan and Alfie for taking the time to answer some questions.
First things first - Dan, how's your knee?(There were rumours on the internet that day that the tour might be cancelled after Dan got injured at the previous night's show).
DAN: How have you found out about this?! The power of the internet... Yeah it's alright, we were in London last night and I jumped off the stage and I smacked my knee on the barrier. I kinda powered through the rest of the set limping and then went to hospital and had x-rays and stuff but I'm fine, it's not broken or anything I'm just a bit tender. I'm going to have to stick with a mic stand tonight.
Go Now And Live came out on Monday and you've been getting a lot of airplay on national radio. How's this changed your fanbase?
DAN: I think our fanbase has always been quite young, so I think from the kind of airplay that we're getting we'll start attracting a few more older people. We're doing bigger venues on this tour than on our last so we're seeing a whole bunch of new people but it's getting more widespread - rather than just kids.
Do did you find recording your 'difficult second album'? Did changing your management create problems for you?
DAN: Yeah we left our management while we were writing it so we just made all our descisions ourselves from then on.
ALFIE: It was quite good, actually.
DAN: Yeah we just had more control over everything that we got to do and everything that happened within the band was down to us. Everything's a lot more rewarding now because we're working so much harder because we're sorting everything out ourselves.
ALFIE: We're definitely one of those bands that actually really enjoys the whole recording and writing process of an album so it's never been a big chore.
DAN: There's definitely a lot of pressure. One you've put the debut out everyone's always going to compare it to that and you've got to match the first album and make it even better. But no, it didn't really get us really.
Your sound has changed quite a bit from your first album to your second, was this a conscious change?
DAN: It wasn't that conscious really it just kind of happened. I think we've all matured and changed since the last album. It would've been easier to write Cutting Our Teeth again but we wanted to mix it up and prove to people that we can do something else and push the boundries a bit.
Dan, are you enjoying singing cleaner vocals on songs from the new album?
DAN: Yeah, it's fun. It's more exciting to change my voice around a bit, especially when we're doing a set with older songs too.
ALFIE: You've definitely still got the gruffness though...
DAN: In the older songs I still get to be noisy and scream a lot and I don't have to focus as much on being in tune and the newer songs are fun because I get to play around with my voice a bit and experiment.
ALFIE: It's more dynamic.
In the past you've been compared to Alexisonfire a lot. Are you finding that this comparison is being drawn less and less nowadays? Was it something that wound you up originally?
DAN: It happened quite a lot but every band gets compared to other bands and you're always going to be pigeonholed and we still get it a little bit, I guess.
ALFIE: People think that we don't like talking about it.
DAN: Yeah. But now, I've seen like three reviews that've all said that we sound like Nickelback, which is fucking weird! So we're like Nickelback fused with Alexisonfire!
ALFIE: It's got to be the long, curly hair!
DAN: Yeah, I'm definitely pulling a Chad Kroeger look at the moment...
What're your thoughts on the current crop of British bands getting bigger and bigger at the moment? Bands like Twin Atlantic and Bring Me The Horizon seem to be huge at the moment.
DAN: I think Twin Atlantic are an amazing band. Bring Me are cool as well, but Twin Atlantic are definitely one of the best up-and-coming bands out there.
ALFIE: I think it's just great that a lot of radio stations are picking up on this sort of stuff.
DAN: We never really expected to get this sort of attention from Radio 1, XFM, Kerrang! Radio and stuff like that so it's amazing that they've caught onto it and been really supportive.
So you're on tour with Veara, Lower Than Atlantis and Don Broco at the moment. What're your thoughts on the line-up?
DAN: Yeah we just wanted a really diverse bill really. Veara are cool and we knew Lower Than Atlantis and Don Broco before the tour. Don Broco are a great band, Lower Than Atlantis are great, they're killing it at the moment and with Veara we really wanted a cool American band to come over.
ALFIE: We're all into that kind of music anyway.
How're you feeling about opening the main stage at Reading and Leeds?
DAN: I keep forgetting about that! Every time someone interviews us and mentions it I'm like: "fuck yeah!". We're kind of in 'touring album' mode at the moment - we've just been concentrating on this tour and getting the album out for the past two months but as soon as this tour's out of the way we're going to start rehearsing for festivals and getting into festival mode. I don't know how we're going to approach Reading and Leeds, it's ridiculously big.
How does it feel to know that you're opening this first day of Leeds festival on the main stage?
DAN: Yeah we're actually the first band on at Leeds festival so no pressure!
ALFIE: Get down there early.
Would you have preferred to have been closer to headlining a smaller stage at Reading and Leeds rather than opening Main Stage?
DAN: We've never played Reading and Leeds before so just to be on the bill is amazing. Our agent was pushing for it [main stage] and we never really knew if we were going to get it or not. To be honest we were pushing for the smaller stages, we never even thought we'd have a chance to get on the main stage. Then we were offered main stage and we were like "We'll do it!"
ALFIE: Our agent called me up straight away and was like "Alf, you've got something to tick off your 'life goals list', buddy!"
DAN: I mean we're not going to turn that down and say "Do you reckon we can do the Lock-Up Stage instead?" Main stage at Reading and Leeds is a dream for us.
Which other festivals can people check you out at this summer?
DAN: Hevy, HUB, Slam Dunk, Relentless NASS, Intro Festival in Middlesbrough, Redfest and there's a couple of other things that we're in the process of confirming. We're doing a couple of other things in Europe this summer too.
Have you guys got any plans to tour the US at some point?
DAN: We're looking into it in October-time. Just to get out there and find our feet over there. We haven't released the new album there yet so we're just going to go over and try to sort out a deal over there. We recorded Cutting Our Teeth in Baltimore, while we were there we did a couple of shows and we did Bamboozle but we haven't really toured America yet. We're not going to do anything extensive at the moment, we're going to go out and do the key areas then ramp it up in the next 12-18 months.